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Dr. Susanna Schrafstetter

Susanna Schrafstetter
2018-2019 Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Invitational Scholar for the Study of Antisemitism

“Seeking Survival in the South: German-Jewish Refugees in Italy, 1933-1950”

Professional Background

Dr. Susanna Schrafstetter is a Professor of History at the University of Vermont (USA). She earned her PhD in  History from the University of Munich (Germany). As the Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Invitational Scholar for the Study of Antisemitism at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. Schrafstetter will be conducting research for her project, “Seeking Survival in the South: German-Jewish Refugees in Italy, 1933-1950.”

Dr. Schrafstetter previously was a Visiting Professor at the University of Augsburg (Germany), and an Associate Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA). She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. In 2017, she completed Senior Research Fellowships at the Institute for Contemporary History (Munich), and at the Leibniz- Institute for European History (Mainz). She has presented her work at various conferences. In 2016, she presented, “Rural Hiding Spaces: Fugitive Jews in the Bavarian Countryside, 1941-45,” at The Holocaust in the 21st Century: Relevance and Challenges in the Digital Age. Lessons and Legacies XIV conference, hosted by McKenna College, Claremont (USA).

Dr. Schrafstetter is the author of numerous publications. Her book, Flucht und Versteck. Untergetauchte Juden in München: Verfolgungserfahrung und Nachkriegsalltag (Flight and Concealment: Fugitive Jews in Munich: Wartime Persecution and Postwar Experience), was published in 2015. Together with Alan Steinweis she co-edited The Germans and the Holocaust: Popular Responses to the Persecution and Murder of the Jews (2016). She is also the author of the upcoming book chapter “The Geographies of Living Underground: Flight Routes and Hiding Spaces of Fugitive German Jews, 1939-1945,” and the upcoming article, “Zwischen Skylla und Charybdis? Münchner Juden in Italien 1933 bis 1945” (Between Skylla and Charybdis? Jews from Munich in Italy, 1933-1945). Dr. Schrafstetter is the co-author of Avoiding Armageddon: The United States, Western Europe and the Struggle for Nuclear Non-Proliferation, 1945-1970 (2004).

Fellowship Research

Drawing on the Museum’s resources, Dr. Schrafstetter will conduct research on the emigration, or escape of German Jews to Italy, analyzing their escape routes and experiences into different parts of Italy. Her research will explore motivations for emigration and escape, everyday life for German Jews in Italy, and the efforts of Italian and Allied forces and aid organizations that attempted to support liberated Jews. She also seeks examine the interactions between German Jews and the Italian population, including the motivations for individuals who helped Jews or denounced Jews after the German occupation of Italy began in 1943.

Dr. Schrafstetter will be in residence through December 31, 2018, and can be contacted at her museum e-mail